A greedy couple stole £61,400 from a faulty cashpoint. At a time when many people can’t get a penny out of banks, Darren and Joanne Jones found themselves well and truly in the money.
The fraud started after they discovered the HSBC cash machine at Waitrose supermarket in High Street, Billericay, had a malfunction. It was giving out cash to customers who were in the red.
The blunder meant if an account was overdrawn it would pay out money without recording it on the bank statement. Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said the married couple who live in MacGregor Drive, Wickford, took advantage of the fault over three months.
The Joneses got caught out when the HSBC became suspicious after noticing the losses and an investigation led to the defendants. At Basildon Crown Court on Friday they pleaded guilty to theft of the cash from the HSBC between March 1 and May 27 last year.
Mrs Jones, 29, an investment banker who works in London, also admitted converting criminal property and Mr Jones, 33, admitted transferring £2,000 of the stolen money into an Abbey account.
Adjourning the case for probation reports, Judge Christopher Mitchell told the pair: “You pleaded guilty to an offence in connection with the dishonest appropriation of a very large some of money. You must understand that although custody is not inevitable, it is very, very likely.”